The wind-swept town of Zinder in the heart of the Sahel region of Niger is a place travellers only pass through.
Kara-Kara, the former lepers’ quarter, is the pariahs’ district of this town. Gangs referred to as the “Palais” have sprung up in this area and are spreading their influence throughout the town. Obsessed by a culture of bodybuilding and violence, the gang members induce fear in the population.
Outside the moments spent together in a body-building camp, some of them follow the path that will lead them to a life of crime and prison or a violent death, others strive to pull themselves out of the rut they find themselves in. This is the case for Siniya, Bawo and Ramsess, whom the director, originally from Zinder, has succeeded in filming up close to reveal to us their survival strategies. By following them in their daily lives divided between their gang, their family and fending for themselves, she gives us a sense of their desire to break free from the cycle of violence which has built their identities. (andanafilms)
Official selection at Visions du Réel 2021 (Switzerland), CPH:DOX (Denmark), DOK.FEST (Germany), Encounters and Durban IFF (South Africa), MoMI (United States), Ladiana Foundation Award…
In the courtyard of Mrs. Coda, around 8 pm, Odile and Farida come in, holding hands of their children. They are prostitutes who entrust their kids to this old lady before going to the “Black”, a festive street that never sleeps. Odile, Farida and some of their comrades navigate from bar to bar, from man to man. In the early morning, when the “Black” starts to empty, Odile and Farida pick up their children. Once at home, tired, they rest. When they wake up, they take us in the intimacy of their life as mothers, between domestic activities, caring for children and coquetry. As a routine, at night, the “Black” recalls its faithful while Odile drops her child in the night-care.
Selection at the Berlinale 2021 (Forum section), Visions du Réel (Switzerland), Etats généraux du film documentaire de Lussas (France)
In a small village in Niger, part of the animist population has recently converted either to Islam or to Christianity. These religions have created division in the village. The hearts of people have hardened through this extremism.
National Road N°1 is the dividing line. One night, in November 2009, a sermon organized by radical Muslims caused sparks, crystallizing tension and permanent distrust on both sides of the road.
In 2016, with the election of a new leader approaching, the village must confront its past to decide its future. I come back to this place and although I am a Christian, I decided to build my house on the other side of the road, to begin the reconstruction of a dialogue between people.
Selected for FESPACO 2019, Etats généraux du film documentaire de Lussas (France), Festival du film documentaire de St Louis (Senegal), Ciné Droit Libre (Burkina), Koudougou Doc (Burkina), Nokouè d’argent award at Lagunimages (Benin)
Ousseynou (40) is husband of Fatou and father of Alioune. They all live in a village where fish-ing is the only economic activity that allows the men of the villages to feed their families. Nafi is Ousseynou’s sister-in-law and neighbor. Nafi’s late father was a baker in the village a long time ago; his traditional bakery was forcibly closed for hidden reasons.
Because of the presence of the powerful Chi-nese and Western industrial boats which prac-tice illegal fishing, Ousseynou can no longer make a living from his fishing profession. He is forced to quit his job.
In his village where bread is a luxury, Ousseynou turns into a reseller of unsold, stale and moldy bread called “ fagadaga “ to provide for his family. However, the opening of the traditional bakery of his sister-in-law Nafi (30), sounds like an affront to him and gradually threatens his business.
EAT BITTER Documentary / République Centrafricaine
After years of civil war, my country, the Cen-tral African Republic, one of the poorest in the world, is rising from the ashes. Construction is flourishing in the capital Bangui. As in other Af-rican countries, skilled migrants from China are at the heart of this modernization. Through the parallel and crossed stories of Chinese immi-grants and Central Africans, Eat Bitter captures the journey of two communities, cultures and men who are diametrically opposed. But they learn to work together with the same goal in mind: to build a bank, a symbol of power and money. Our characters don’t hesitate to strip the earth and destroy their family lives for a seat at the table of prosperity. Indeed, behind this so-called progress and new openness is a less glowing reality. Workers sacrifice their dignity, abuse their bodies, and spoil the environment to extract sand, an essential construction mate-rial. And this disappearing sand is pushing them to take ever more risks to get hold of it.